Tuesday 15 September 2009

Savory Scallion-Mushroom-Cilantro Scone

I got introduced to the word scone only after I started blogging and I had an instant liking for it. I have been planning to make them for quite some time but I had my own apprehensions. I finally got over them and attempted making my ‘First One’s’.thumbs_up
Before I start explaining what I made, let’s get introduced with this term properly. I did read a lot of blogs and surfed the net to understand them and the best explanation was given by joy of baking and jugalbandi  and  thus my final conclusions are:
There are two ways to pronounce scone; "Skon" and "Skoan".The origin of the name 'scone' is just as unclear as where it came from.  Some say the name comes from where the Kings of Scotland were crowned, the Stone (Scone) of Destiny.  Others believe the name is derived from the Dutch word "schoonbrot" meaning fine white bread or from the German word "sconbrot" meaning 'fine or beautiful bread'.  Still others say it comes from the Gaelic 'sgonn' a shapeless mass or large mouthful.
They were first made with oats, shaped into a large round, scored into four to six triangles, and cooked on a griddle either over an open fire or on top of the stove. 
This small cake is a quick bread, similar to an American biscuit, made of wheat flour (white or wholemeal), sugar, baking powder/baking soda, butter, milk (whole, half and half, light cream, heavy cream, buttermilk, yogurt, etc.), and sometimes eggs.  This produces a soft and sticky dough that has the ratio one part liquid to three parts wheat flour.   It needs to be baked in a moderate to hot oven so the dough sets quickly thereby producing a light scone with a light to golden brown floury top and bottom with white sides.  The texture of the interior of the scone should be light and soft, and white in color.  
The key to  making good tender scones lies in handling the dough. The dough has to handled gently and not over kneaded.
I made my scones low in fat and high in nutrific value. They have a nice hard crispy crust  and soft and flaky inside. One can add veggies of their choice. The ones I have added surely have a nice aroma. The scones were perfect and I won over all my apprehensions and am ready to try the sweet versions.Smile
Ingredients for the Scones
Makes 8
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
8 oz crumbled cottage cheese/ ricotta cheese (I used home made low fat)
1tbsp+2tsp Baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup milk
1 egg or 2 egg whites
1/4 tsp carrom seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp red chili pwd
4 mushrooms finely chopped
4-5 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 large or 4 small scallions chopped
1 green chili chopped
egg white/milk for glazing

The correct mixing of the ingredients is crucial in producing an excellent scone. One can use an electric mixer but I used my hands. Mixing by hand helps to prevent over mixing of the dough.
To begin, the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder) are whisked together in a large bowl.  Initially I used only 2 1/2 cups flour and reserved the remaining.
Next the cottage cheese is cut into the flour until it looks like coarse crumbs.  When it is worked into the flour mixture it becomes small, flour- coated crumbs, not a smooth dough.  This method is similar to how a pie dough is made and gives the scone a wonderful delicate and flaky texture. 
This is the point add in the chopped veggies, spices,  and other flavorings are added. 
Mix milk and egg together.The wet ingredients so mixed together separately and then added to the flour mixture.  Only mix the dough until it comes together.  This dough should not be overworked and that a light hand is needed.  The test will be in the results.  If you end up with a hard and doughy scone, you will know to mix the dough less the next time you make them. 
If you find your dough sticky, add the reserved flour and mix.
When the dough is mixed, gather it up in your hands and place on a lightly floured surface.  Knead the dough a few times to make it a cohesive mass and then roll or pat it into a 7 inch (18 cm) round that is about 1 inch (2.54 cm) high.
Cut it like a pizza, first through the middle, then into quarters, and then into eight wedges. Use a very sharp knife (preferably serrated) for this. Clean cuts enable the scones to rise better. ( I used a pizza cutter dipped in flour)
  Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and brush with an egg /milk wash, if desired.  Using an egg wash gives the scone a nice appearance and helps with browning. 
Bake the scones in a preheated oven at 400 F.
Scones that are placed close together, that is almost touching, will have soft sides and their crusts will be less crispy.  If you place them further apart the scones will be crusty all over.  The scones are done when they are nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of the scone comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack.  If you want crusty scones, cool them uncovered.  If a softer crust is desired, then wrap the hot scones in a clean dish towel.  Scones are best served warm. Serve them with butter or cream cheese.
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Palidor said...

They look amazing! I've never had savoury scones before, but would love to try yours. I love everything you put in them, especially the ricotta!

arundati said...

they look fantastic pari... i want to try these out soon...am bookmarking this

Nandinis food said...

OMG! Wonderful explanation and great work! I have bookmarked!

Priya Suresh said...

Scones looks gorgeous that to with mushrooms and scallions, feel like munching rite now..

Lavanya Raj said...

Your Scones have raised pretty well Pari.
Tempting too, Love to taste the Paneer in it.

Do Try Brownie's Pari, You have baked the scones perfectly, Try it and post soon!

Sushma Mallya said...

Scones look superb and perfectly baked...must be very delicious...even i should attempt it soon...

PriyaRaj said...

Scones looks fantastic dear ...very tempting ..

Sailaja Damodaran said...

Looks perfect......nice one

Preeti Kashyap said...

looks great and healthy!

Unknown said...

Can have it now with a cup of tea, send across some.

Gita Jaishankar said...

I too made scones with cheddar cheese and scallions...adding mushrooms sounds and looks so delicious :)

Padma said...

Has come out perfect and look very tempting...

Shri said...

Unique combo..Pic looks cute:)Love savory scones...

ST said...

Superb explanation...Looks awesome and gr8.

Jyoti said...

Scones have come out perfect. I have to try making scones sometime too.

chakhlere said...

those look really yummy!! I feel like grabbing them !! Bookmarked the recipe!!

Pavithra Elangovan said...

Wow thats really fantastic scones ..looks so good and yummy. :)

Parita said...

Wow scones look perfect dear!

Katy ~ said...

Oh my goodness! I LOVE scones, and this savory one looks perfect for some many dishes. I will have to make soup just so I can have these scones!

Sanghi said...

Delicious Pari..! Do check Dubai Palm islands tour in my World food treat blog..!

Sarah Naveen said...

Fabulous Pari!!!!

Desisoccermom said...

Hi Pari,
It was nice to hear from you after a long time. I apologize if my post struck a chord with you. It was not intended at any one in particular but was a comment on the trend I see all over the blogosphere.
I do not claim to be a great writer or well informed for that matter. And I do agree that blogging is about one's expression. But is it too much to ask someone to do a spell check before one uploads a document or to recheck the meaning of a word.
However, if you think it is ok to make grammatical errors in the process of writing your post, then more power to you.
I, as of now, do not possess the confidence to do it. As someone with a decade of journalist experience I am used to checking and rechecking my copy before I upload it. And even then I am not always entirely happy with it.
It is admirable to see the initiative and networking skills you possess to make your presence known. That is not my forte and I admire you for it. My contention was with people leaving rude remarks, demanding they be visited since they had done their due visiting others. It is not always possible for everyone to visit all the visitors who come to their blog and it is possible that sometimes some posts do not draw a comment. It is also possible that some one is busy with other things in life.
I hope this explains a lot of what I meant to say in my post and came across in a totally different light (see, I am not able to express myself properly all the time).
Let me reiterate once again that this was not a personal attack and a general comment on the ongoing trend in the blogosphere. I like your blog for all the interesting recipes you post and I do try to visit as often as I can.

Trish said...

I do like this very much. Very good to have a scone with a bit of 'spice' rather than sweet and a cup of soup with it would be perfect indeed.

Pari Vasisht said...

@ Jaya,
I guess we have not understood each other's expression. You have got me completely wrong. I have not taken anything personally. I was just trying to relate how any blogger feels.Personally, I always do my spell check. I can't say about my grammatical errors but largely I guess I write okay. What i said was regarding other blogs, I ignore their errors and try to stick to the content. I hope i have made myself clear.

My Little Space said...

Hi Pari, I've never try something like this with scone before and it sounds wonderful! Thank you for sharing. Cheers.

Anu Nandu said...

Hi Pari,

First, thanks for stopping by my blog and for all your kind comments!

I so appreciate you trying to take the time to make scones - I just go to my starbucks or someplace and pick up one. These look so good - i could finish the whole thing in a day! Wow!

You have a nice blog here - keep up the good work!


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